Course Description

Course Number


Course Name

Contemporary Urban Challenges


Course Credits



The increasing rate of urbanization has been accompanied by dramatic changes in almost every aspect of urban life, creating new challenges and opportunities for urban dwellers, planner, and policymakers. This course is designed to examine the demographic, economic, and environmental realities and challenges facing contemporary cities. Specific issues that will be discussed include affordable housing, employment rates, civic engagement, environmental justice, access to transportation, impacts of gentrification, urban renewal strategies, and access to education. The city of Boston will be the primary context through which concepts, theories, and findings presented in the lectures and readings will be explored and evaluated. We will have site visits and evaluate local policies and plans. The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the role of government, institutions, organizations, and citizens in identifying and addressing contemporary urban challenges.